A rubric is a scoring guide used for the purpose of assessing assignments. A rubric defines in writing what an evaluator expects in order to get a particular mark on an assignment. Along with the written account of what is expected, a good rubric will also list the criteria that will be assessed. For example, if a person is writing a paper that will be assessed by a rubric, the rubric will let the writer know if they will be scored on content knowledge, writing skills, effective communication, or all three. The levels of quality of each of the criteria will also be delineated in a good rubric. Whether these levels are written out as words (e.g., Excellent, Needs Improvement, Fail) or as numbers (e.g., a score from 1 to 3), what it takes to achieve each level will be apparent from the definition of each level of the criteria.  

Rubrics are typically presented as a grid with the levels of quality across the top and the criteria being assessed down the side. In each cell a definition is presented to allow the person scoring the rubric to know what constitutes a specific level of quality in a specific criterion. 

Here is an example of a rubric from the Tri-College Teagle Foundation Systematic Improvement grant (2009-2014).


Contact Us


Richard Barry, Ph.D., Director of Institutional Research, Planning, and Assessment
Taylor 213
101 N. Merion Ave.
Bryn Mawr, PA 19010
Phone: 610-526-6532
Fax: 610-526-7450

Jeanine Molock, Executive Director of Institutional Effectiveness, Planning, and Assessment
Taylor Hall
101 N. Merion Ave.
Bryn Mawr, PA 19010
Phone: 610-526-6599